99 days later than originally planned, we make the short trip to Craven Cottage as the Sky Bet Championship season gets back up and running. Tomorrow's opening fixture sees the top two in the form table since Christmas meet with bragging rights and a crucial three points all up for grabs as well.
HEAD TO HEAD
Fulham head into tomorrow's game in third, having lost just twice in the Sky Bet Championship in 2020 but there are those who believe that, given the resources at their disposal, The Whites should be leading the pack rather than trying to close down a six point gap to the automatic promotion places.
The Whites have the best home record in the second tier, taking 38 points from their 19 games. However, both their defeats in 2020 have come at Craven Cottage, Reading and Barnsley the sides to leave with all three points.
Tomorrow's game kicks-off a tough spell for Scott Parker's side with Leeds United, QPR, Nottingham Forest, Cardiff City, and West Bromwich Albion all to play in their next seven games.
Leading the line for The Whites is 23-goal striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, the Championship's leading marksman. The Serbian International spent some time on the sidelines in January but returned to net five goals in six matches in February to move one clear of Ollie Watkins at the top of the scoring charts.
Fulham Chairman Shahid Khan named Scott Parker Caretaker Manager in February 2019, and Parker impressed sufficiently in the role to be named permanent Head Coach prior to the final game of the Premier League season. After replacing Claudio Ranieri in what was initially an interim capacity, Parker oversaw an upturn in form which included three consecutive clean sheets and wins in April, which saw him nominated for Manager of the Month.
As a player, Parker began his career at Charlton Athletic, making 145 appearances before moving to Chelsea. After a two-year stay at Stamford Bridge, Parker took in spells with Newcastle United, West Ham United, and Tottenham Hotspur before spending the final four years of his career at Craven Cottage. That career also saw the midfielder pick up 18 caps for England.
The enforced three month break has allowed players from both sides to return to full fitness.
For The Bees, Mathias Jensen, Kamohelo Mokotjo, and Pontus Jansson are all fully fit with Marcus Forss, Sergi Canos, and Nikos Karelis all closing in on a return.
The season extension has allowed Josh Onomah (knee), Alfie Mawson (unspecified), Maxime Le Marchand (back) and Joe Bryan (hamstring) all to recover for Fulham. The Whites have also managed to extend all loan deals until the end of the Championship season, which means Terence Kongolo, Harry Arter, Harrison Reed and Anthony Knockaert will be available for the remainder of the campaign.
HENRIK DALSGAARD INTERVIEW
HOW TO FOLLOW
Tomorrow's game will be broadcast live on iFollow as well as Sky Sports Football.
Any Season Ticket Holders who haven't received an email with their iFollow and #BeeThere code should email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Non Season Ticket Holders can still buy a Match Pass for tomorrow's game
iFollow | Domestic (UK, Ireland, Isle of Man)
- Live audio coverage
iFollow | International (other countries worldwide)